Sample preparation and material management: Storage cell, sample conditioning (eg. welding), waste treatment, Multiple materiallography sample prep lines (cutting-embedding-polishing) Sample miniaturisation techniques and dedicated infrastructure.
Non-destructive fuel analyses: Length, diameter, EC oxide thickness, EC integrity, gamma spectrometry (FGR, power, BU), volume and fission gas analyses by puncture. BONAPARTE for fuel plates (thickness and oxides) + gamma spec.
Mechanical and corrosion testing for structural materials: Dynamic and static testing (tensile, impact, bending, …) in different environments (temperature, air or LWR water chemistry or LLBE autoclaves), Reconstitution and miniaturisation
Microstructure analyses: LOM(µH), FEG-SEM(EDX), EPMA(WDX), XPS, XRD, TEM, [FIB]
Capability to reconstruct broken samples to maximize efficiency of irradiation testing costs.
Power reactor fuel Fuel fabrication:
Oxide fuel laboratory (U-Th[-Pu]): Sectioning and refabrication of irradiated fuel pins
Fuel irradiation testing: Pressurised water capsule for steady state/transient test, Dedicated rigs with instrumentation
Fuel characterisation: Full scale Non-Destructive and Destructive Testing in hot cell, Radiochemistry laboratory
Test reactor fuel and 99Mo targets:
Fuel/target fabrication: Arc furnaces + glove boxes, Powder coating device, Pre-irradiation characterisation
Fuel/target irradiation testing: Test baskets (‘FUTURE’) for plate irradiation and mixed elements, Instrumented test loops for full element irradiations, Advanced neutronic modelling
Fuel/target characterisation: Inter-cycle inspections, Non-destructive + destructive PIE
The Nuclear Science User Facilities (NSUF) is the U.S. Department of Energy Office of Nuclear Energy's only designated nuclear energy user facility. Through peer-reviewed proposal processes, the NSUF provides researchers access to neutron, ion, and gamma irradiations, post-irradiation examination and beamline capabilities at Idaho National Laboratory and a diverse mix of university, national laboratory and industry partner institutions.